Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning

A Poem by Mark Pearce

Insights of a younger self.


Strategic Planning

© 2010 Mark Pearce


                        Chiggers and white socks

                        do not mix.


                        'Round here

                        the chigger bloom

                        occurs the same time

                        blackberries ripen.

                        Shiny, black and juicy -

                        My, oh my, I'm

                        dreamin' pie.


                        But blackberry canes grow

                        in the most

                        inhospitable places.


                        A boy is singularly molded

                        to brave such terrain.

                        What's a bunch of

                        weeds and

                        sprouts and

                        striplings and

                        vines and

                        snake holes and


                        to a kid?


                        There is one

                        unpardonable sin though,

                        when gathering the ebony gem.


                        Wearing white socks.



                        there's the pestilence

                        of stick-tights -

                        those can be bad, but

                        largely tolerable.


                        But white socks are the

                        crystal meth

                        of the chigger world;

                        Homing beacon to

                        a young boy's legs,

                        beachhead to

                        a young boy's privates,

                        catalyzing agent to many a

                        restless night indeed.


                        I've assessed the circumstance

                        and have devised this plan.


                        I go out picking

                        with friends now.


                        If one of 'em arrives

                        barefoot or

                        wearing sandals

                        I give 'em a pair of

                        white socks to

                        "protect" their ankles.


                        A diversionary tactic

                        surreptitiously employed

                        on a day my

                        berry-picking friend

                        will long remember.

© 2010 Mark Pearce

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Author's Note

Mark Pearce
If you don't know chiggers,
you don't know pestilence.

My Review

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This is delightfully tricky. At the beginning, I began to envision fruits, jams and all sorts of desserts and their sweet smells with children running around with shouts and laughters, then things started to change and then came suddenly: “Sure, there's the pestilence of stick- those can be bad, but largely tolerable” which did but extract a small laugh from me. Boy, we really need to be reminded of such simple things sometimes........

Posted 12 Years Ago

knock on wood . . . I've been unmolested so far . . . but then, my blackberry bushes are good enough to grow on the edges of my yard so I don't have to brave the tall weeds and snakes and other nasties :)

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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2 Reviews
Added on January 18, 2010
Last Updated on January 18, 2010
Tags: chiggers, nature, childhood, memories


Mark Pearce
Mark Pearce


I am happy to introduce the presentation line-up for the 2009 Montserrat Poetry Festival, to be held at Montserrat Vineyards, Montserrat, Missouri on Sunday afternoon, May 3rd, 2009. 2:00 pm Debo.. more..


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